The Shut-Up-and-Give-it-to-Me-Quick Version:
Good not Great.
Great location, atmosphere and service, but the food didn’t wow me.
The I-Like-to-be-Wrapped-Up-in-All-the-Details Version:
This past weekend The Dorian (restaurant that took over Circa’s old space) opened their doors for brunch. This “classic American” restaurant (run by the people behind The Palm House) offers a menu with more lunch items while still offering classics like French toast and eggs. The first thing that caught my eye was the attention to detail and great décor. The space feels open with high ceilings and large windows. There is a large bar area surrounded by booth seating and a separate room with tables to accommodate small and large groups. Seeing as this place was pretty packed their opening weekend, I would suggest brunch reservations, though if you come later, snagging a table sans reservations may be easier. The design is inspired by turn-of-the-century décor and the drink and meal service follows that theme with an ode to a bygone era. Their motto is “for good time sake” with a timeless, classic American flare. Their drinks are takes on this with whiskey flights and gin cocktails. The set up is very inviting and uplifting with pops of color that liven up the space. Going for brunch gives you the benefit of having the sun beam through the windows making everything that much prettier. I love that they have longer hours – brunch runs until 3:30 pm.
What we ate/drank:
- Bloody Mary ($10)
- Alibi ($12)
- Blood Orange Mimosa ($10)
- Cinnamon sticky buns ($7)
- Truffle fries ($11)
- Souffled French toast ($12)
- The “cure all” flatbread ($16.50)
- Dorian burger ($15.50)
- Mini Royal Dorian slider ($9.50)
Dorian’s bloody mary was great! It was full of flavor and had the perfect alcohol/juice ratio. I would definitely order this again.
The Alibi is one of their classic cocktails with bourbon, salted pistachio, lemon, orange marmalade and angostura. It doesn’t particularly taste like pistachio, but it was very good. It was strong and it grew on me – the more I had it, the more I liked it.
I wasn’t a fan of the blood orange mimosa because it didn’t really taste like much other than champagne. Which isn’t a bad thing, but it didn’t have that great quality that simple orange juice and champagne does. They do, however, also offer the classic version.
The cinnamon buns were good, but I wish they would’ve had a bit more sauce. The picture makes them look very moist (I turned them to their pretty side), but without the caramel, it was a bit bland. I would’ve also liked them to be served a bit warmer. Once these bad boys cooled down they definitely lost their consistency and didn’t taste the same. Read: eat them right away!
I was most disappointed with the French toast. When I found out there was huckleberry jam I was instantly excited and when I read “souffled” I was intrigued. It turns out this “souffled” French toast is just a bit spongier than others – or that’s the idea anyway. I thought the French toast needed flavor and there needed to be more jam. I also felt that the side of butter was pretty unnecessary. I would recommend whipped cream instead. The texture was all pretty soft and nothing stood out in the dish. I wouldn’t reorder.
The “cure all” flatbread was very unique. The presentation was great – served on a wooden board, the flatbread was topped with cheddar cheese, ribeye, a sunnyside-up egg and salsa. I really liked the salsa and definitely think it brought the whole dish together. The dish is pretty big so I would recommend sharing. I also wouldn’t order this as my only meal so if you’re interested in trying it, I think you’re better off ordering 2 things and sharing. The meat was tender and well-cooked and while this wasn’t exploding with flavor – it’s a good option. Especially great if you’re trying to cure a hangover 🙂
The Dorian burger – I have to admit this is a good burger; there is a lot of meat and it’s very juicy; however it’s your standard burger. Their “fancy sauce” tastes a lot like the In-n-Out sauce.
We asked for truffle fries with our burger and they were very good – full of flavor and the truffle dip was great as well!
The mini Royal Dorian slider is a smaller version of their featured dinner burger; except during dinner the full size burger will set you back $40. This was by far my favorite thing we ordered! The burger was so unique – filled with meat and crab and the same great sauce from the fries. This truffle burger exploded with flavor and is different than anything I’ve ever tried. The meat is super light and tender and works surprisingly well with the delicate flavor of crab. I think a full size (assuming it’s as large as the Dorian burger above) would be a little much, but it’s a great thing to share. The $40 price tag seems a bit steep even when you count the crab, but I think it’s a great option for brunch. The bread was sponge-y, it had great texture and the whole thing was very rich.